Well, New Jersey has kicked off yet another Fireworks Crackdown. Since I was kid, it has been unlawful to even possess fireworks in New Jersey. If we were caught with firecrackers, cherry bombs or the like, the local police would confiscate them on the spot, which, of course, meant that the copsâ€™ kids always had the best fireworks.
When one grows up in a state where fireworks, by law, are contraband (i.e. something the mere possession of which is unlawful), it is easy to forget that other states have different rules. So, when Ken, my friend and bodyguard, and I were in Tennessee last October, we could not resist taking a side trip to a fireworks store (I believe it was this one, or one just like it).
I remembered as a boy traveling with my parents by car to Florida seeing grubby looking fireworks stands, but this was different. The experience was much like that of a life-long junkie visiting a Heroin Superstore. We walked around the large, neon-lit, spotless store marveling at the things that one could buy in Tennessee, the mere possession of which in the Garden State could put you in deep shit. There were fireworks of every description, all nicely displayed. It was farookinâ€™ amazing!
At one point, the clerk ambled up to us as we were wide-eyed checking out a â€œSuper Pack,â€ which included mortars and God knows what else. He fired up a video of the contents of the kit in all their explosive glory. He said, â€œIf you boys are interested in this, you really need to check this out,” at which point, he directed us to the MONDO COLLECTION of fireworks that contained an array of colorfully blasting, banging, flying, poofing, â€œoooooohâ€ and â€œaaahhhhhhâ€ provoking explosive know to man.
I think Ken would have been game to fill up his SUV with a shitload of fireworks, including the MONDO COLLECTION, but out of respect for my desire to not be arrested as a â€œfireworks smugglerâ€ and thereby jeopardizing Mr. Law License, he didnâ€™t press the issue.
Iâ€™d be willing to bet that some Jersey copâ€™s kid has the MONDO COLLECTION ready to go on the Fourth of July.